Gmail app on Android 2.2 opens to new message

It seems as if the Gmail app on 2.2 differs from my experience with the one on 2.1, in that, when I receive a new email on 2.2, I either open the app via notification or icon on the home screen and am presented with the open new message. I don’t like it and want gmail to open to it’s inbox – nothing more.

What works for me is to always exit the gmail app by using the back key. No matter which screen you’re in, using the back key to get out will let you open gmail to the inbox, not the most recent message.

HP LaserJet 5si on Mac OS X

To use an HP LaserJet 5si on Mac OS X over the network, you must first use the keypad on the printer to assign it an IP. I chose so it could be next in line after the router. Then in OS X, go to System Preferences-> Print & Fax-> Add new
Click the IP icon at the top and use these settings:

HP LaserJet 5si on Mac OS X setup screen

Naturally, you can name it whatever you want. Mine’s in the basement, so that’s it’s name.
All of this couldn’t be more straightforward until you go to print a test page using the default driver OS X selects for you (the HP 5si driver – seems right, yes?). When you print, you’ll get Post Script garbage and tons of blank pages until you quit the job.

To get my printer to work, I needed to use the Gutenprint v5.2.3 driver, which is installed with OS X.
HP LaserJet 5si on Mac OS X screenshot

It’s smooth sailing from here and now this beast of a printer can serve me well into the future…living under the stairs in the basement.

10-8 Sights

I recently swapped out my Novak lo mount rear sight on a Colt Combat Elite for a 10-8 sight. I felt the Novak had too many things that were distracting to my eye and interfered with a basic, fast sight picture. The 10-8 was the definitive answer.

novak sight
The Novak sight is too busy to be fast.


The Novak has a little shelf with a notch and 2 rear dots that must be lined up with the front sight to obtain a proper sight picture. In my opinion, it’s too much to look at for fast sight acquisition.


10-8 rear sight
The 10-8 is a simple and fast option.




The 10-8, however, has a plain serrated rear with a U-notch. Looking at this sight, you can already tell it’s going to be faster as there is less to focus on and is a flat plane. The U-notch is a welcomed change for me, as I use a single white dot up front. Put the dot in the notch and fire. Easy…and accurate.



Shooting the dueling tree was where I realized I made the right choice. Shots were easy and I missed very little. The biggest disadvantage I had was mag capacity vs an M&P40 and the mud the tree was anchored in let it wobble. Aligning the the front dot in the rounded notch seemed very natural and was almost second nature. The sight itself is made very well and fit the existing Novak dovetail cut better than the Novak brand sight that was OEM on the gun. It is shaped with a ‘shelf’ to facilitate one-handed cocking of the weapon by leveraging the rear sight on a hard surface like a table, desk, etc. Like the Novak, it has 1 setscrew to lock it in place.

The sight is not cheap, coming in at $48.75 from the 10-8 website, but is worth every penny.

2007 Ford Focus Aux Audio

The 2007 Ford Focus SES I have has a CD player stereo with a giant AUX button. In the glovebox, there is a 1/8″ female jack for plugging in an ipod, iphone, or whatever. On that same jack/housing, there is a rocker switch to turn the power on to the jack itself. Try as I might, I simply couldn’t get anything from the stereo when I hit the AUX button. The display would always read “No AUX audio”. I was assured that this¬†Ford Focus AUX audio was functional when I got the car…

After removing the front of the dash and the 4 screws that hold the head in, I found something I wasn’t expecting to see. Evidently, Ford installs a silver box called TripTunes in lieu of a dedicated line-in. This acts like a built-in FM transmitter and as you can see, has a switch to select the frequency you’d like to broadcast on. (mine was set to 88.3 FM).

So…if you have an AUX hookup in the glovebox and the AUX button does nothing, try plugging in your device and tuning to 88.3 OR 87.9 to see if you can get any love from it.

Android 2.1 stock browser…stopped.

This morning, my wife and I woke up to find that the Android 2.1 stock browser simply stopped working. I timed a page load for Google and it was nearly 60 seconds when it finally came through. I searched for hours to find the solution, and finally did just now.

At some point, something entered in values for the proxy and port settings in the APN.
Go to Home-> Settings-> Wireless and Networks-> Mobile Networks-> Access Point Names-> [Your WAP].
We had to clear the proxy and port fields, and presto! The stock droid browser works again on 3G. Wtf?

This is on the Cincinnati Bell network.
Proxy value was: and port was 80.

I should also note that Opera mini worked, even when the Android 2.1 stock browser gave up.

things I don't want to forget that might interest you.